2014 Sermon Series
- June 29, 2014
God’s grace is seen through our relationships and in our futures.
Though Genesis 24 is about the marriage of Isaac and Rebekah on the surface, that is not the primary focus of the chapter. There are many spiritual principles for us to learn from these 67 verses.
A Commitment to Providence
Life and responsibility continue after the death of a spouse, and now Abraham turns to providing for his spiritual heritage. He continues to pursue the promises God has made him and sends his oldest servant, Eliezer, to find a wife for Isaac.
Eliezer shows himself a thoroughly faithful servant. His only aim is to do his master’s bidding, though Eliezer would have inherited Abraham’s estate had Isaac not been born. Eliezer was clearly a saved, humble man. He had served Abraham for over 40 years and had his complete trust. Through both men’s prayers, God’s will is revealed and done in Isaac’s marriage.
It remains a wonderful truth for us to know that God providentially places in our lives saints like Eliezer to help us pursue the will of God.
A Commitment to Principled Standards
Abraham is very clear that Isaac was not to marry a Canaanite wife, and he was not to go back to the land God had called Abraham from. Isaac’s wife must be a woman who fears the Lord. This is the first principle for us to learn:
Separation – God’s will for His saints is always to marry a spouse who is saved and walking with the Lord. This is not to say that those who were married before their conversion are not in God’s will. Believers who are unwed should not go against this principle, because their spiritual progeny is at stake.
Progression – Abraham continues to focus on moving forward. Growing in Christlikeness is a process that happens over time, as we take one step after another.
Purity – Rebekah is deliberately described as a girl who is morally pure. As a third-generation Christian, she had been taught the principle of purity, and her Lord and Savior allowed her to live that principle out. This is also God’s will for all who are in Jesus Christ.
Servanthood – Both Eliezer and Rebekah show this principle. Eliezer serves Abraham well, as we saw above, and refuses to feast before he’s done his master’s bidding. He puts aside self-gratification, and even need, for the Lord’s will.
Rebekah also has a servant’s disposition. She is in the act of serving her family when Eliezer sees her, and she proceeds to serve him and his camels. After drawing roughly 600 gallons of water, she runs home in excitement at the Lord’s providence in her life. Saints will do extreme things to serve the Lord!
A Pledge to People
Many people are mentioned by name in this chapter. The lesson we can learn is to never lose sight of souls in pursuit of principles. Newly saved people may struggle and succeed in various ways. They need to be nourished with love and care and patience, not merely expected to live up to standards. Teaching theology and loving souls go hand in hand – a church that abandons either is wrong.
- God puts “Eliezer”s in our lives to help us pursue His will. Who has helped you along your way? Why not write them a note of thanks? Who is helping you spiritually right now? Are you attentive and grateful to them?
- Check your life and disposition against the four principles gleaned from this chapter. If unwed, are you resisting the temptation to be “unequally yoked” in marriage? Are you continuing to progress in your Christian walk? Are you living a life of moral purity? Do you serve the Lord and others?
- Do you over-emphasize either loving people or enforcing standards? Pray about how you can seek God’s balance of the two.
Tools for Further Study
Cross References to Explore:
- Genesis 15:2 – Abraham’s servant would have inherited his estate.
- 2 Corinthians 6:14 – Warning against being bound to unbelievers.
A Hymn to Encourage: “Satisfied”
All my life I had a longing
For a drink from some clear spring,
That I hoped would quench the burning
Of the thirst I felt within.
Hallelujah! I have found Him
Whom my soul so long has craved!
Jesus satisfies my longings,
Through His blood I now am saved.
Feeding on the husks around me,
Till my strength was almost gone,
Longed my soul for something better,
Only still to hunger on.
Poor I was, and sought for riches,
Something that would satisfy,
But the dust I gathered round me
Only mocked my soul’s sad cry.
Well of water, ever springing,
Bread of life so rich and free,
Untold wealth that never faileth,
My Redeemer is to me.